AgricultureCooperatives & CommunitiesDevelopmentNewsTechnologyTrade

Kikuube rice farmers urged to form cooperatives

KIKUUBE, March 27, 2024 – Samuel Kusima Kahesi, the Kikuube district Assistant Production Officer has advised rice farmers in the district to form cooperatives, saying the cooperatives offer many benefits.

He said farmer cooperatives play a crucial role in improving the livelihood of farmers, adding that they promote the adoption of good farm management practices, new agricultural technologies, and sustainable farming practices, and enhance farmers’ bargaining power, enabling them to sell their products at higher prices.

The official noted that farmers who practice agriculture individually face many challenges that range from weak bargaining power, exploitation by the middlemen, poor quality inputs, and lack of financial support among others.

Kahesi made the call last Friday during a sensitising meeting organised for rice farmers. The meeting was organised by a team of researchers from Makerere University who are currently implementing a three-year project aimed at promoting rice growing in Kikuube district.

“When you are organised farmers working under a cooperative, you will be able to determine the prices of your produce. You will also be able to lobby for financial support from the private sector or government to buy inputs and fertilisers compared to when a farmer is operating as an individual,” he said.

He commended Makerere University for promoting rice growing in Kikuube district, saying that many farmers are abandoning the growing food crops to sugarcane, which he said derails efforts to ensure food security.

He said that farmers in the district face several challenges such as climate change, fake inputs, and a lack of market.

However, he urged farmers to embrace climate-smart agriculture as one way of mitigating the effects of climate change climate.

On his part, Dr. Patrick Musinguzi, a principal investigator from Makerere University said the university in partnership with Kikuube District Local Government, with funding from Africa Plant Nutrition Institute has been implementing a three-year project dubbed Enhancement of Rice Productivity through Adaptation of Climate-smart Agricultural Options and Market Responsive Business Strategies in Uganda [APNRF Uganda Rice].

Musinguzi said the project which started in August 2022, aims to reach thousands of upland rice farmers with the best agronomic practices and this is envisaged to increase national rice production output to meet the demand. The project promotes the growing of upland rice [NAMCHE5], which is highly nutritious and resistant to climate change, he said.

The project was initiated following a research study that unearthed the reduction of rice growing in Bunyoro Sub-region as a result of unpredictable rainfall and loss of soil fertility among others

He noted that under the project, they have established over 12 demonstration farms and sensitised the farmers about modern farming.

Under the project, Musinguzi said, farmers are trained on how to manage water in rice farms by use of bunds, use of fertilisers, farm care, and dry planting to ensure that farmers grow rice under hard conditions.

Musinguzi called on farmers in Bunyoro Sub-region to embrace climate-smart agricultural methods of farming to be able to reap big in farming.

He underscored a need for the rice farmers to take advantage of demonstration farms established in the area so that they embrace new farming technologies.

Beth Nyangoma from Kikyaya village commended Makerere University for initiating the project [APNRF Uganda Rice] in the area, adding that she had abandoned growing rice because she was not making profits.

She noted with the application of new technologies she now gets  22 bags of rice from an acre compared to 10 bags they used to harvest before APNRF Uganda Rice began.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on

Views: 1

Related Articles

Back to top button